Kia Ora, Welcome, Hello, Nǐ hǎo, Talofa Lava, Hallo, Salut, Namaste, Bonjour, Bula Vinaka, Guten Tag, Shalom, Ciào, おはよう (Ohayoou), 안녕 Ahn Nyeong, Olá, Privet!, Xin Chào,  Kia Orana, Malo e Lelei, Fakaalofa Lahi Atu, Sat Shari Akal, Melo Ni, Halo Ola Keta, Mauri, Fakatalofa Atu, Salam, Welkom.


We are now in the Christian season of Lent.  Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter.  By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.

During this Lent season, you are invited to :

  1. Pray – for yourself, for your family, for someone with a special need or a prayer of thanksgiving for blessings received.
  2. Fast – to intentionally give up something we love or are attached to, as a sacrifice. For e.g. when you enter a store do you buy what you want or what you need? 
  3. Almsgiving – to give to others who are in need, those less fortunate than us.

Unfortunately due to Level 3 lockdown, we were unable to participate in Ash Wednesday liturgies at school and with the Parish community.  Fr Sherwin, however, will bless the ashes this Thursday at our Beginning of Year Mass and these will be distributed after Holy Communion.  A reminder that Mass starts at 11.15am and this will be followed by a BYO picnic on the school field. We hope you are able to join us.

A Lenten prayer to pray together as a family

Open our minds to the silence of Your presence, that we may be refreshed 

Open our hands to receive and to give, that we may be replenished

Open our hearts to your word, O Lord, that we may be renewed 



Kia Ora St Mark’s Catholic School whānau 

Thank you so much for your patience and support through the recent 3 day Level 3 lockdown. I think we are all learning to live in these uncertain times.  Again, I am immensely proud of the resilience and tenacity of our learners, teachers, parents and wider school community in their response to another Covid interruption. The move to Level 1 has been welcomed with much joy. This means we are able to come together as a school community this Thursday for our beginning of the year Mass and BYO picnic as well as other activities scheduled for later in the term.

I take time to humbly apologise if for any reason you are not receiving school communications via email. We have recently upgraded our Student Management System (SMS) and have experienced a few teething problems. Emails are sent via the SMS and will often have attachments. Emails through the SMS appear to be sent from: St_Marks_School_{Pakuranga}
Please do pay attention to these emails and be sure to open any attached documents.

It is hard to believe we are into our fourth week of the new school year. The school is very settled with happy, confident, focused learners giving of their best. This term’s Inquiry focus is encapsulated by the Māori term, TURANGAWAEWAE (which loosely translates to a place to stand).  Learners will take time to consider concepts such as identity and belonging.  We hope all children will know more about their family’s journey story (and how they came to reside in NZ) and we look forward to our children sharing lots about themselves, their faith, their families, the groups they belong to and their cultures. 

Our learning teams have now been named following a democratic staff vote. 

Our Yr 0-2 learning team is  the Kitea team (kitea is to discover)

Our Yr 3-4 learning team is the Torotoro team (torotoro is to develop)

Our Yr 5-6 learning team is the Whakatere team (whakatere is to navigate)

The staff feel these terms relate to the different learning stages and compliment our school’s motto, ‘Seek and you shall find’ as well as 21 century learning language.  We will be seeking ways to fully integrate this new language into our school’s day to day operations. 

In my last newsletter, I wrote,

I hope 2021 will be a year of strengthening community connections and I encourage you to be fully involved in school life through things like the BOT, PTFA, Sports Coaching and Cultural Leadership opportunities. By working in closer partnership we will make our fabulous little school even better.

I take the opportunity to invite you to next week’s PTFA meeting and to pencil in the dates for our mid-March School/Family Interviews and Family Fun Night. I also welcome any volunteers who are able to give of their time, talent and skill to support our learners in realising their God-given talents. If you can offer a small group activity be it chess, lego, arts and crafts, sports or cultural activities etc. please email me directly:

On a final note, if you have any concerns whatsoever about any aspect of your child’s learning and/or wellbeing at school, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher in the first instance or arrange a time to see myself, Mrs McKenzie or Mrs Hodgson.

Your friend in Christ

Tracey Kopua


Thurs 25 FebStart of Year Mass/Family Picnic11.15am in Parish Church
Wed 3 MarchPTFA meeting7pm in staffroom
Mon 8 March

(Date change)

HPPA Softball Field dayYr 5/ 6 team at Meadowlands reserve from 9.30am
Fri 12 MarchFamily Fun NightBYO Picnic/blankets – on field from 5-7pm
Tues 16 MarchHPPA Swimming CarnivalSchool swim team at Lloyd Elsmore pools
Wed 17 MarchSt Patrick’s DayGreen-themed mufti and Lenten collection
Wed 17 MarchSchool/Family Interviews3.30-5.30pm
Thurs 18 MarchSchool/Family Interviews1.30-7.00pm (SCHOOL CLOSES AT NOON)
Fri 26 MarchROTARY Tip Top Fun DayGroup of 30 Year 5 and 6 students at Elm Park
29 March – 2 AprilHOLY WEEKLiturgies and Stations of the Cross TBC
Thurs 1 April – Tuesday 7 AprilStaff Only Day (1 April)


School is closed for instruction
Thursday 15 AprilHPPA CULTURAL FESTIVALDetails to be confirmed
Friday 16 AprilWheel’s dayLast day of Term 1
Sunday 18 AprilParish 50th Jubilee MassDetails to be confirmed



We would like to kindly request that parents/caregivers refrain from sending in birthday treats to be shared with children.  Many children at the school have allergies and the school has to be conscious of this as well as food safety standards.  We are mindful of the pressure, and expense,  this can cause if there is a perception that birthday packs/birthday treats are expected.


Please save these Term 4 dates for your diary – Wed 17 – Fri 19 November.

We will be travelling to Lakewood Lodge this year. You can take a sneaky peek by browsing this website –

A camp meeting will be scheduled for the beginning of Term 2. We will be seeking volunteer support.  All volunteers will be required to undergo the school’s police vetting process.


A very warm welcome to Deacon Thomas Park who will be ordained in May. Thomas has spent time at St Luke’s Parish, Flat Bush and will assist Fr Sherwin for the remainder of 2021.

Belated birthday blessings to Fr Sherwin who recently celebrated his 40th Birthday.


Please remember to follow our school on Facebook. We use this platform to share quick news and to celebrate learning:


Our school BOT has been working with SchoolDocs to create a website for our policies and procedures.  We are excited to announce that the site is now live and available to our school community.

The school works on a subscription basis with SchoolDocs to maintain, update, and review our policies.  SchoolDocs provides us with a comprehensive core set of policies, which have been well researched and follow the Ministry of Education National Administration Guidelines. The policies and procedures are tailored to our school, and the school supplies specific information such as our charter, and procedures for behaviour management, reporting to parents, etc.

SchoolDocs updates, modifies, or creates policies in response to changes in legislation or Ministry guidelines, significant events, reviews/requests from schools, and regular reviewing from the SchoolDocs team. Our board of trustees has the opportunity to view changes/additions and comment on them before they are implemented. We will advise you when policies are up for review and how you can take part in the review.

We invite you to visit the site at: (note that there’s no “www.”). 

Our username is stmarks and password “seekfind

This term you are invited to review the HOME LEARNING Policy.


A warm welcome to: Richard L, Ray E, Eduardo RB, Chloe L, Sophia Z, Alan L, Isabella L, Christian VW, Finley R, Adrienne L, Jacob L, Jamie M, Aamairah N, Daniel N, Victoria P, Joy S, Emjay R and Christian T.


Learners at St Mark’s are reminded to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. To encourage learners to do this, we reference the ABCs and 3Rs.

ABCs: A – Attitude; B – Behaviour; C – Care

3Rs: Respect for self; Respects for Others; Respect for the Environment

Our PB4L focus this week is: Respect for self & others – Wearing the correct uniform (hat, footwear).  Moving quietly everywhere, respecting others’ space.


Statements were sent out via our Student Management System last week.  Thank you to those who have already started paying their school accounts.  Please note that there is one invoice per child, it is not an invoice/statement for the family.


The school uses this social media platform to share learning, post community information and to give reminders about ‘what’s on’.  Please do ensure you follow us on Facebook:


Acknowledging learners who always see a need and respond. Congratulations: Jacob F, Alvin C, Alice P, Minna H, Vincent W, Jason S, Eva G, Michael M, Kattaleya S, Luke S, Quinn H, Abigail F, Ivan S, Elenor V, Cooper F, Jacob C, Todaishe C, Liam A, Mia L, Etienne J, Rushal M, Paige S, Liam D, Joshua S



New school uniform can be purchased from NZ Uniforms, Bishop Dunn Place, Botany South.


Term 1 2021 – Wednesday 3rd February – Friday 16th April (8th February Waitangi Day, 1st April Teacher Only Day, 2nd April Good Friday, 5th April Easter Monday, 6th April Easter Tuesday)


Please click here to see the flyer.     Spanish Classes Flyer


Victoria Fisher (our very talented parent helper) is available for clothing repairs and alterations at a very reasonable price.  Trousers, skirts, dresses, zips, curtains, school uniforms, repairs etc.  Please contact Victoria for your repairs and alterations on                   027 836 1812.

Keyboard lessons are available from Ruth Leafberg.   Please contact Ruth directly on 027 208 7395 or email on




Supporting Success in your School $500.00  – If you’re a parent, staff member or a member of the school community and draw down a new ASB home loan of $250,000 or more, ASB will donate $500 to your chosen participating school.  Click here for information on supporting your school

“The Marian Centre, CATHOLIC KINDERGARTEN” – This Kindy is situated in the heart of the Eastern Region of the Diocese of Auckland. It opened in 1999, on St. Luke’s Day and it was blessed by our Bishop Patrick Dunn D.D. in the year 2000. The Marian Early Childhood Centre is an Apostolate of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland and it is located in Panmure beside St. Patrick’s Church. We cater to children from 2 to 5 years of age. 

The Kindy was created for and has been faithfully serving, the young children in the Catholic parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland in the East.. We are a Catholic Early Childhood Centre and we follow the Catholic Early Childhood Religious Education Curriculum Statement. Our programme is guided by the Catholic Liturgical Calendar and focuses on Catholic values and virtues. Please phone: 5705690 or visit Cyril at 19A Sunset View Road, Panmure.

GUITAR LESSONS AFTER SCHOOL: Suitable for 6 years and older only. Would you like lessons with a music tutor with many years of teaching experience? You can enroll your child in guitar or ukulele lessons at St Mark’s School!

We deliver a fun varied and structured curriculum. Students learn songs in styles ranging from traditional to contemporary. For more information please contact Jordan Morrison on 021 132 7024 or at



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